So for our first part, we thought we’d start off with a bang.
With the Congressional recess quickly approaching, some clean energy opponents threatened to delay the bill by calling countless procedural votes. House minority leader John Boehner (OH) took this threat about 300 steps too far by spending over an hour reading aloud from the roughly 300 page managerial amendment. Although there is no formal right of filibuster in the House, after hours of debate, Boehner decided to utilize an obscure rule that gives only the Speaker, the Majority Leader, and the Minority Leader unlimited time during their closing remarks to delay proceedings.
Seeing that they didn’t have the votes to stop the bill, Boehner resorted to tactics reminiscent of those used during the civil rights movement, perhaps to try to delay and sweat out members until there weren’t enough to vote. Here's a clip:
Enthralling, right? Be happy you weren't subjected to the full hour... We aren't conspiracy theorists over here, but we got to thinking: maybe his ‘fili-Boehner’ wasn’t really to delay the vote? Perhaps Boehner, a noted smoker, was just trying to be the first Member to quit cold turkey on the House floor. Or maybe his anger towards all the people who had mispronounced his last name over the years just became too much for him, and he decided to vent by torturing the entire House.
Whatever the reason, it clearly didn’t work. Boehner eventually gave up, and the historic bill went on to pass soon thereafter. Boehner’s tactic proved to be another useless low blow used by those standing in the way of millions of new, green jobs. I'm thinking he may have needed a cigarette to calm his nerves after that one...